A recent study on the Giant Impact Hypothesis shows that the Earth’s natural satellite, Moon, was actually formed when a Mars-sized object named Theia collided with Earth almost a billion years ago. At a time when the Earth was nothing but a ball of magma, this event led to the formation of the Earth-Moon system we see today. It is also believed that the Earth’s core was also formed due to this which includes the Outer molten core and Inner solid core.
There is an ongoing debate going on which is regarding the timing of formation of the Moon and when it first originated. According to the researchers, the origin of the heavenly body is not that old. As a matter of fact, its formation took place millions of years after the Big Bang took place.
Moon formation and the Magma Ocean in it
Earth was still in the formation process of almost four-and-a-half billion years ago when the Solar System was in complete chaos. The planetesimals had also formed from the protoplanetary disk which was tossed about and occasionally collided with a planet. Over time, the heavier elements sunk to the center of the Earth which led to the formation of an iron-nickel core. At the same time, the large parts of the Earth’s mantle melted to form a magma ocean.
The material from Theia was then reabsorbed by Earth or coalesced in the orbit. The study, which recently appeared in the journal Science Advances titled “A long-lived magma ocean on a young Moon“ was conducted by planetary geophysicists from the German Aerospace Center (DLR), along with researchers from the Technical University of Berlin and the Institute of Planetology at the University of Münster.
One of the reasons there has been disagreement over the Grand Impact Hypothesis has to do with the very thing that inspired it in the first place was Moon rocks. Let us know what you think of it in the comments section below! Also, don’t forget to join us on our Telegram Channel for more such latest updates and discussions.
Suryapratim Ray is an engineer, author, robotics hobbyist, and an active Quoran. Being a technical blogger, he covers the good, bad, and ugly of science on a regular basis at Sciencenews18. In addition to his passion for writing, he’s equally keen on learning classical music.